Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
  Next of Kin Haunted House Of Horror
Year: 1982
Director: Tony Williams
Stars: Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott, Gerda Nicolson, Charles McCallum, Bernadette Gibson, Robert Ratti, Tommy Dysart, Debra Lawrance, Simon Thorpe, Alan Rowe, Isobel Harley, Irene Hewitt, Myrtle Woods, Vic Gordon
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Linda (Jacki Kerin) has just lost her mother, and as she is named as the sole beneficiary of her estate, she returns home to an isolated area of Australia to look after the mansion house she has been left. Being too big for one family, it had been converted into a retirement home, but Linda is inexperienced at this type of work and is now relying on the staff to keep the place running smoothly, although she balks at accepting yet more residents, no matter that her head attendant Connie (Gerda Nicolson) is asking her to consider it because they need the money. But Linda has other concerns...

That's because she may well have ended up in a haunted house movie, and you'd be forgiven for thinking so to right up to the point where the story exploded into violence. This was one of many horrors to emerge from Australia (and New Zealand, for that matter - it was a co-production) during the seventies and eighties that reflected an attempt by that country's filmmakers to keep up with the steady stream of product from overseas, although Next of Kin was far more thoughtful for the most part than many of its contemporaries. That was until all that carefully wrought atmosphere went flying out the window.

Before that happens, what you have is something that could just as easily have been a vintage ghost story set in Victorian times, it has that mood of the classic, shivery tales as its heroine delves into the past to find out what precisely happened at that old house she now owns, however reluctantly. Actually, it's difficult to fathom exactly how Linda feels about her new position for she is a very buttoned down personality, and we mainly find out what she is thinking from how she reacts to the strangeness building around her. What we do know is that she is investigating what may or may not have happened to her aunt, and how responsible her mother had been for her.

We also know that the residents are turning up dead, but as this is set in an old folks' home nobody is taking that much interest as that's what you would expect to happen to them. There does seem to be a menace linked to water, though this is more an artistic choice by director and co-writer Tony Williams than anything more overtly connected to the plot, so characters are drowned, the rain pours down in powerful storms, and there's a neat trick with the fountain that signals the mayhem is really about to start. As Linda uncovers more, you begin to piece together the facts as slowly as she does, and if Next of Kin was anything it was slow, deliberately paced and taking its time.

This was near to the detriment of the suspense at times, as the vague quality of the narrative made it look as if Williams was content to wallow in mystery rather than resolve anything. And frankly, you may well be feeling that way by the dramatic finale's close as you had to be paying far more attention than you might have expected to work out what was going on. This confusion was forgiven to some extent, as that final act was an excellent example of a more modern, for the day, runaround as what had been almost genteel in its chills resorted to all out slasher movie thrills. It was a crunching gear change, but the film got away with it because the mounting tension of what led up to it practically demanded a major pay off of those dimensions. For all the bafflement it risked leaving the audience suffering, Next of Kin did win a cult following of those who appreciated its better aspects, and if it verged on the curate's egg style of horror, most likely you would not regret taking a chance on it. Music by Klaus Schulze.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3148 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: